IRFA: DOE Letter Confirms RFS Exemption Abuse by EPA

Contact: Cassidy Walter

JOHNSTON, IOWA – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently sent a letter to Senator Chuck Grassley responding to his inquiries into the department’s scoring and recommendations on refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The department sends recommendations to EPA regarding if petitions for exemptions should be partially granted, fully granted, or denied. In this letter, Energy Secretary Rick Perry confirms that he is aware of instances in which the DOE recommended a partial or even no exemption for certain refineries, yet the EPA subsequently granted a full exemption. This contradicts former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s claim before Congress that EPA simply followed DOE’s recommendations.

In response to DOE’s letter, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw made the following statement:

“First I have to say thank you to Senator Grassley for pushing so hard in his dogged fight to demand the truth about RFS refinery exemptions. The DOE letter confirms media reports that former EPA Administrator Pruitt may have lied to Congress, which is a crime, and Pruitt’s past statements warrant further Congressional investigation. Furthermore, this letter is all the proof President Trump should need that the RFS exemption program has been abused and his intervention is needed to stop the granting of unjustified RFS exemptions.”

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 4.5 billion gallons annually – including 34 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 11 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 400 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: